Roko Belic

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Roko Belić
Residence Malibu, California, United States
Nationality American
Ethnicity Czech and Yugoslav
Alma mater University of California, Santa Barbara
Occupation Film producer and director
Years active 1993–present
Notable work Genghis Blues, Happy
Style Documentary film
Home town Chicago, Illinois, United States
Partner(s) Gael Firth
Children 1

Roko Belić is an American film producer and director. Belic's directorial debut, Genghis Blues, was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.

Early life and education[edit]

Belic was born to Czechoslovakian and Yugoslavian parents, Danica and Nenad Belic.[1][2] During his childhood, his mother used a wrench to lock a broken dial on the family TV to the local PBS channel.[3][4] His first filmmaking experience was in third grade with his brother, Adrian, when a friend, Christopher Nolan, borrowed a super-8 movie camera from his parents.[1] Belic grew up in Chicago in suburban Illinois and attended Evanston Township High School.[3][5][6] Belic later attended the University of California, Santa Barbara.[6]


For his first feature, Belic was inspired by a story unfolding in the little-known Siberian republic of Tuva. Trusting his intuition, Belic purchased two cameras on credit and flew with his brother to Tuva to create the documentary feature, Genghis Blues (1999).[citation needed] Belic’s landmark film received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature and won over 70 international film festival awards including the Sundance Audience Award.[citation needed]

Continuing with his passion of global cinematic journeys, Belic associate produced Beyond the Call (2006), following three American soldiers-turned-humanitarians, traveling to war zones around the world delivering life-saving aid. The following year, Belic co-produced and shot the award-winning Indestructible (2007), filmed in locations from China to Israel, following one man’s search for a cure for his terminal illness.

In 2010, Belic directed the documentary Dreams: Cinema Of The Subconscious, included on the Inception (2010) Blu-ray. Following its success, he directed The Batmobile, released on The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Blu-ray.

Most recently, Belic teamed up with director Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor), who executive produced, to make the feature documentary Happy (2012). Directed, written, and co-produced by Belic, Happy combines powerful human stories with cutting-edge science to give audiences a deeper understanding of our most desired emotion. Happy won numerous awards and screened in 70 countries. It was the #1 documentary on iTunes for over nine weeks and achieved "All-Time Bestseller" status.

Personal life[edit]

Belic currently resides in Malibu, California with his longtime girlfriend, Gael Firth, and their daughter, Viva Paradise Firth Belic.[7][8][9]

Belic's step-mother, Ellen Stone Belic, is the daughter of Jerome H. Stone, the founder of the Alzheimer's Association and of J. H. Stone & Sons.[10][11] His father, Nenad, was a retired cardiologist who died while attempting to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.[12]







  1. ^ a b "About WadiRum". Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ Freedman, Rich (January 23, 2011). "Belic is back in Bay Area with 'Genghis Blues'". Vallejo Times Herald (Vallejo, California). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Ramsey, Nancy (July 4, 1999). "How a Creole Singer Wowed Them in Shangri-La". The New York Times (New York City, New York). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ Curiel, Jonathan (July 1, 1999). "'Genghis' Lets Brothers Leave the Blues Behind / Pair scrimped five years to pay for documentary". San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ Wilmington, Michael (January 29, 1999). "Documentaries, Foreign Films Are The Real Stars At Sundance". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Petrakis, John (September 24, 1999). "For The Love Of Tuva, `Genghis Blues' Was Filmed". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ Gerhard, Susan (July 6, 2011). "Roko Belic Charts Path to ‘Happy’". Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ Freedman, Rich (April 22, 2011). "Latest film, first child, keeps Belic busy". Vallejo Times Herald (Vallejo, California). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  9. ^ Katz, Laura (February 8, 2012). "Interview with Roko Belic, Producer And Director Of Happy, A New Documentary". Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  10. ^ Diamond, Seymour; Morey, Charlie (January 6, 2015). The Headache Godfather. New York City, New York: Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 9781629145389. 
  11. ^ Megan, Graydon (January 5, 2015). "Jerome Stone, helped start Alzheimer's Association, dies". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  12. ^ McCann, Tom (December 10, 2001). "Dr. Nenad Belic, 62". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]